Issues Important to Amy
Reprioritizing Our Investment in Alexandria
We must invest in the present to capitalize on our future. With that said, we are lacking in our affordable housing initiatives, our public schools cannot support the increase in student enrollment, and our education funding for Pre-K programs and school infrastructure is in jeopardy. Our children must come to school prepared to learn, and the equalizing factor of Pre-K programs existing for all children in our City is a necessity. The achievement gap does not wait until later grades. It begins in Kindergarten when students have not had the same, consistent opportunities as others at their grade level. We need to do better when providing resources to meet our children’s educational needs.
Revitalizing Our Alexandria
We must consider that a robust revitalization of Alexandria needs to happen in order for our economy to grow, strengthen, and diminish the burden put on our taxpayers. The West End property of Landmark Mall has sat nearly empty for far too long without any sign of redevelopment. Our residents and business owners are finding other outlets where they can spend their money, usually in neighboring jurisdictions. Alexandria is losing money where we shouldn’t be. The Potomac Yard Metro would also encourage economic growth, and the idea of a Business Improvement District in Old Town should be restructured and revisited without compromising retailers’ autonomy or income.
Recommitting to Alexandria’s Safe and Inclusive Community
Alexandria has always prided itself on being a safe and inclusive community – it’s always been about the people and the programs. However, our economy has not been able to sustain the resources needed for continued or initial implementation of our social programs and safety initiatives. We need to increase pay and benefits for our teachers and First Responders, have dialogue concerning the issuance of body cameras, address heroin and opioid addiction, human trafficking concerns, gang prevention initiatives, pedestrian fatalities (VisionZero), and domestic violence and sexual assault cases.
In recent years, many social programs have also seen decreased funding, which has significantly impacted how assistance is implemented in women’s issues, services for seniors, immigrant families, mental health services, all children, including youth at-risk. We, as a community, cannot continue to de-fund our social programs hoping our non-profits can pick up the slack. To do so is to literally short-change our own Alexandrians.